Anti-satellite Debate Reflects Indian Decision-making Process [Carnegie Endowment for International Peace]

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On the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website, analysts Bharath Gopalaswamy and Gaurav Kampani suggest that India is quietly working on anti-satellite technology in response to China’s deliberate destruction of one of its own satellites in 2007. India has long depended on satellites for civilian applications and space capabilities are increasingly figuring into the military’s plans, the authors say. Statements by various Indian government officials and technocrats indicate that some sort of anti-satellite (ASAT) program may be in the works, the authors say, adding that India appears to be leveraging other efforts to develop this capability.

     “The Indian approach to developing ASAT weapon technologies is measured and exploratory. It follows the now institutionalized methodology of developing dual-use technologies that have civilian and military spin-offs; or tacking military programs onto already instituted ones. The Indian approach also emphasizes the significance of ‘technology demonstration’ over the proving of operational military systems.”